Re: Are we "special"?

Paul Crowley (
Sun, 08 Dec 96 21:21:12 GMT

In article <> "Gerrit Hanenburg" writes:

> (Paul Crowley) wrote:
> >If you have seen any hypothesis that you think has some value,
> >please outline it. Because, without exception, every one I've
> >come across in the literature has been so weak, so unexamined
> >and so poorly thought through, that I would repeat: "we have not
> >begun to outline its probable evolution or the reasons for that
> >evolution".
> I suggest you read the following papers:
> Aiello,L.C.and Dunbar,R.I.M.(1993), Neocortex size, group size, and
> the evolution of language. Current Anthropology 34:184-193.
> Dunbar,R.I.M.(1992), Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in
> primates. J.Hum.Evol.20:469-493.
> Dunbar,R.I.M.(1996), Neocortex size and group size in primates:a test
> of the hypothesis. J.Hum.Evol.28:287-296.
> See also Byrne,R.(1995), The Thinking Ape:evolutionary origins of
> intelligence. Oxford University Press.
> That probably spares me a waste of time.

I've read Byrne and some earlier Dunbar. They are so bad
they send shivers down my spine. Why not try to justify one
line or the other? Ugh.

> >More fundamentally, there appears to be something in the
> >training of PA's that forces them to focus on the strictly
> >mundane and seems to render them incapable of recognising
> >complexities of either a physical or philosophical nature.
> It is generalizations like these that sometimes make me doubt your
> intellectual capabilities.

I may not have expressed this well, but there is a tradition
that goes back to Darwin: " . . human beings are just another
animal to studied just like a species of nematode worm . . any
other approach is false and unscientific . . ". Consequently
the features that make H.s.s. truly distinctive are
deliberately ignored. Is it any wonder the science is so weak?